Biological and serological characterization of Campylobacter jejuni lipopolysaccharides with deviating core and lipid A structures



Abstract Lipopolysaccharides from Campylobacter jejuni were tested for their ability to induce toxic lethality in galactosamine-sensitized mice, pyrogenicity in rabbits and tumour necrosis factor (TNF) secretion from mouse peritoneal macrophages. Compared with those of Salmonella LPS, lethal toxicity was 50% lower, pyrogenicity was 30- to 50-fold lower, and ability to induce TNF was 100-fold lower. C. jejuni LPS and lipid A exhibited higher phase-transition temperatures than those of Salmonella preparations, and thus the former have lower fluidity at 37°C. This lower fluidity of acyl chains may influence the biological activities of C. jejuni LPS, but acyl chain characteristics and diaminoglucose replacing glucosamine in the hydrophilic lipid A backbone may also influence the supramolecular structure of lipid A, thereby affecting biological activities. Although diaminoglucose is present in the backbone of C. jejuni lipid A, antigenically the latter resembled classical lipid A of the Enterobacteriaceae when tested with anti-lipid A antibodies. Chemical investigations suggested the presence of glucuronic acid in an acid labile linkage in the inner core region, thus producing a structurally unusual region in C. jejuni LPS.